Imagine the process of purchasing a luxury car. You’ve researched, test-driven and considered your options. You’re at the dealership, ready to sign the papers and take delivery. You know you’re buying more than a car—you’re buying an ongoing luxury experience, including valet service, storage, service and exclusive owners’ events.
This part might take a while, so you go to the kitchenette to get a complimentary cup of coffee and find … a dirty pot of burned java and some chintzy styrofoam cups.
How do you feel about that luxury car purchase now?
The fact is, no matter what brand of car you’re selling, the little details about your dealership can mean the difference between making a sale or not—or, more critically, creating a customer for life versus a one-off buyer.
Here are four areas of your dealership you should ensure are reflecting the exact image you intend.
The showroom is, of course, the centerpiece of your dealership. Your most desirable, presentable car models are on display. But how are they displayed? Are they nicely lined up? Are they arranged so that customers can view them properly from a distance and explore them up close?
What about sales and receptionist desks? Are they neat and tidy, and do they contribute to the overall aesthetic?
Everything from extension cords to unkempt décor can turn customers off, and make the sale that much harder. But a clean, well-kept and beautifully arranged showroom can draw people deeper in and inspire confidence in both your brand and their vehicle purchase.
Kitchenettes and Refreshments
Like in the example above, a refreshment area that doesn’t match your dealership’s brand image can really drag you down. But it’s not just a matter of having a clean area and tasty coffee. It can take a bit of real effort—and art—to make things accessible to customers so they feel welcome, while keeping the space uncluttered and tidy.
Ideally customers would feel as welcome in your refreshment area as they do in their own homes. Otherwise what should be a valuable amenity is collecting dust (or worse) instead.
Let’s not dwell on this one too long. However, it needs to be said. Clean, yes, it goes without saying. But does your hand soap remind one of an exit ramp gas station? Are your paper towels flimsy, unabsorbent things? Skimping on these small details can leave customers with a bad impression. However, a little investment in making your restrooms match your dealership’s overall image can really pay off.
Not every dealership has a dedicated area to introduce customers to their new rides, but if you do, make sure the experience matches your brand. If you’re in the luxury car business, make sure it’s luxurious. Selling race-inspired performance machines? Showing iconic motorsport items isn’t the worst idea.
Also, this is the place to make sure that soccer parent with the new minivan knows exactly how to fold down the seats and use the entertainment system. Every new vehicle has its own learning curve, but don’t let your customers leave feeling like they’re driving someone else’s car.
In conclusion, while the cars you sell are the proverbial steak, everything else is the sizzle. If you want to whet your customers’ appetites enough to ensure they come back for seconds, you need to make the sizzle really sing.